Windows 10
Torrent sites to ban Windows 10 over privacy concernsWindows 10 update

The internet is abuzz with news of Microsoft's initiative to wipe off Torrents and pirated software from Windows 10 users' hard drives, even as Torrent sites have resorted to banning Microsoft's newest operating system over privacy concerns. This evasive action from the hardcore pirate groups comes in the aftermath of several media reports citing various privacy intrusions with Windows 10.

One of the key privacy issues with Windows 10 is its ability to scan software for counterfeit games and apps, wherein the scanned information is sent directly back to Microsoft servers. Microsoft can then redirect or share this confidential info with third-party entities including the brand protection company MarkMonitor, in order to crack down on file sharers.

iTS, BB and FSC Torrent sharing groups, have consequently decided to ban Windows 10 owing to the rising privacy concerns of Torrent users. Here is what iTS had to say regarding its Windows 10 ban initiative, which was started last Thursday (20 August):

Many of you might have heard or read about the terrible privacy policy of windows 10 recently. Unfortunately Microsoft decided to revoke any kind of data protection and submit whatever they can gather to not only themselves but also others. One of those is one of the largest anti-piracy company called MarkMonitor. Amongst other things windows 10 sends the contents of your local disks directly to one of their servers. Obviously this goes way too far and is a serious threat to sites like ours which is why we had to take measures. Since last thursday windows 10 is officially banned from iTS. Members using it get redirected to a video that eggsplains the dangers quite in detail hoping to enlighten as many people as possible.

The BB torrent sharing group also mirrored a similar claim as the iTS, while sharing its own concerns:

What's particularly nasty is that apparently it sends the results of local(!!) searches to a well known anti piracy company directly so as soon as you have one known p2p or scene release on your local disk ... BAM!

At this moment, it is impossible to substantiate any such claims made by these Torrent groups, as Microsoft has not explicitly stated that Windows 10 users' files and apps will be monitored and uploaded to be scrutinised for pirated content or counterfeit software.

There is only a mention of one clause under section 7b of Services Agreement for using Windows 10 that says:

We may automatically check your version of the software and download software updates or configuration changes, including those that prevent you from accessing the Services, playing counterfeit games, or using unauthorized hardware peripheral devices.

On the contrary, Torrent Freak suggests that most invasive privacy concerns could be easily dealt with by configuring Windows properly, and it is better for Windows 10 users to be pre-informed about how to change the settings to increase their privacy.

[Source: Torrent Freak]